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When the topic of DFM techniques came up, I knew I had to talk with Gary Ferrari of FTG Corp. Gary has been involved with designing and manufacturing PCBs for decades, and he’s the past co-founder and executive director of the IPC Designers Council. I caught up with Gary between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and we conducted the following interview.
Andy Shaughnessy: Give us a quick background on yourself and your role at FTG.
Gary Ferrari: I have been in this industry for more than 50 years. The major portion of this time has been spent in PCB design and manufacturing. I have spent some time in assembly, industrial robotics, and nuclear and fossil power plant controls systems design.
I serve as the Director – Technical Support for FTG Circuits. My main function has many facets. First is to work with our customer base during the design phase of their products. I help them design for manufacture, which includes fabrication, assembly, repair, reliability, and field service. This includes end-product performance, both electrically and mechanically. It sounds like a lot, and it is. To meet today’s advanced products within short design cycles, one must consider all these areas when selecting materials, components, etc.
Second is to represent them within the standards develop committees of IPC. Many current-day issues are discussed during the development meetings, which affect both our company and our industry. There are so many new, advanced technologies cropping up constantly. One must stay on top of them if one expects to survive in this industry.
I also provide IPC designer certification through EPTAC, an IPC licensed training center. These courses are quite extensive, exposing the attendees to many of the issues affecting successful designs.
Shaughnessy: So, what can PCB designers do to make the fabrication process go smoother?
Ferrari: The most important item that a designer can do is to talk to their fabrication and assembly suppliers. Ask them about how your design practices are affecting their ability to manufacture with low yields and high reliability. Most important is to find out the areas that are the most troublesome. The designer has many ways to attack a given issue, and may be able to select a design solution that is easier to manufacture, resulting in higher reliability and lower cost. This is most important when doing a new design utilizing a technology that is new to the company. Most fabricators can draw from experiences gained through a wide variety of technologies they have worked with through a large customer base.
To read this entire article, which appeared in the January 2016 issue of The PCB Design Magazine, click here.